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An Open Letter To MP Douglas Alexander

By Sen Kandiah

Sen Kandiah

Rt. Hon Mr Douglas Alexander MP

House of Commons

London, SW1A 0AA

Open Letter

23rd October 2013

Dear Douglas,

I am writing to express my sincere thanks regarding your recent article in the Guardian, on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka. Your calls on the UK Prime Minister, Rt. Hon David Cameron MP, to both boycott CHOGM and to establish a clear plan to support human rights improvements on the island are warmly welcomed by Tamils for Labour and many members of the diaspora community in the UK. I hope that the UK Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, as well as other Heads of Government of the Commonwealth, give serious consideration to the position the Labour Party has taken and be prepared to reconsider their participation at the event next month.

In 2009, it was a Labour Government that brought to the world’s attention the atrocities that were taking place on the island, as the armed conflict drew towards its bloody conclusion, and it was the first Government to call for a ceasefire. Since that time, the Labour Party has continued to provide tremendous support to the causes of accountability, justice, reconciliation, and human rights in Sri Lanka, including strong backing for the establishment of an international commission of inquiry, under UN auspices, to investigate the allegations of war crimes perpetrated in the final months of the war.

However, as you have attested, the situation in Sri Lanka continues to deteriorate. Human rights abuses are commonplace. There has been no accountability for the violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law committed during the armed conflict nor has a credible reconciliation process been put into effect. Commonwealth values and principles are being dishonoured on a daily basis in Sri Lanka. These circumstances should be challenged and not accepted.

Therefore, it is with great regret that the current UK Government failed to set benchmarks that had to be met by the Sri Lankan authorities, before agreeing to their participation at CHOGM. I believe that this amounts to a tacit endorsement of the disreputable policies and actions of the Rajapaksa regime and only serves to undermine UK foreign policy, as well as the credibility of the Commonwealth.

The principled position the Labour Party and the Canadian Government has taken will, I hope, be matched by India and other Commonwealth countries, including the UK, before CHOGM takes place. It is also imperative that further calls are made to bar Sri Lanka from the right to Chair the association for the next two years. A Government who wilfully violates Commonwealth principles should not have this honour bestowed upon them.

I am very grateful for Labour’s on-going vigilance regarding the situation in Sri Lanka and for the stand the Party has taken on CHOGM. You and your front bench foreign affairs team, Ed Miliband and all Labour parliamentarians have shown genuine leadership on the matters discussed above and the influence the Labour Party can continue to exert will be as important in the weeks and months ahead.

Yours sincerely,

Sen Kandiah

Chair, Tamils for Labour

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Latest comments

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    Thank you, Sen.

    1. Rt. Hon Mr Douglas Alexander, Shadow Secretary for Foreign Affairs, said:”The situation in Sri Lanka risks further deterioration unless the international community – and the Commonwealth in particular – begins to place greater pressure on President Rajapaska’s government”:

    Before UNHRHC Navi Pillay’s visit 12 people were arrested in Trinco5 case(5 Tamil youths were murdered on Trincomalee beach in January 2006) and after her visit the 12 were released on bail – the prime perpetrator was not even arrested

    Election for the Northern Provincial Council was held because doubts about India’s attendance at CHOGM2013 began to emerge in May/June as a result of the growing opposition of the Sinhala extremists and government factions to it.

    To make sure that the British Prime Minister attends the conference in Sri Lanka the Attorney General has recently announced that a special legal officer to direct the prosecution in the murder case of British national Khuram Shaikh in order to speed up the trial process, though i.not much happened for nearly two years and ii. too investigations of many Sri Lankan murders are callously neglected.

  • 0
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    rubbish being picked up and made into bigger rubbish by an increasingly desperate “Diaspora” !

  • 0
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    This letter amply proves that the perceived support by the Labour Party for an ethnic group is all about votes and winning elections. It is not the ruthlessness of a terrorist group and how much murder they committed that matters, but how to win a block of ethnic vote that is important for the Labout leaders. They have discarded their principles and moral values totally..Atlee must be turning in his grave!

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      It proves that the support by Labour party is against countries where state terrorism is used to oppress people’s democratic right. LTTE was ruthless against a terrorist state which undermine the democaratic principles. Sadly Sri Lankan military did much more murders than LTTE and committed crimes against humanity. Of course Labour party banned LTTE as a terrorist group on principles but it gave full support to the political aspirations. Your state discarded the human values totally and behave like a blood thirsty Lion.

    • 0
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      Re ‘ethnic group is all about votes and winning elections’ fortunately or unfortunately that is the name of the game in democracy. When Tamils agitated through democratic means for equal rights, the ethnic Sinhala mass supported a Sinhalese party which promised the maximum hindrance to Tamils’ progress forward.
      “One of the essential elements that must be kept in mind in understanding the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict is that, since 1958 at least, every time Tamil politicians negotiated some sort of power-sharing deal with a Sinhalese government – regardless of which party was in power – the opposition Sinhalese party always claimed that the party in power had negotiated away too much. In almost every case – sometimes within days – the party in power backed down on the agreement.” – (Professor Marshall Singer, at US Congress Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Hearing on Sri Lanka November 14,1995)

      The Tamil Diaspora is engaging in the democratic processes exactly in the same way as the Sinhala Diaspora

    • 0
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      Hilarious has a lot to teach all these learned Sinhalese:

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/104705097/Conscientious-Sinhalese-Tell-LLRC

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    I am very grateful for Labour’s on-going vigilance regarding the situation in Sri Lanka and for the stand the Party has taken on CHOGM.

    Doesn’t matter who writes what ,D Cameron is coming to SL for CHOGM , for UK knows SL is much better than few terrorist supporters live in UK

  • 0
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    Senthil Kandiah is an ambitious Businessman

    Sentil, don’t hide the truth that the Labour Government was the one laid foundation for the Tamil situation to end in a massacre of 40,000 Tamils.

    Why are you silent about the ban on the LTTE by your favorite Labour Government?

    What you have written here is a partial open letter.

    If you want to contest in the next parliament election on a Labour ticket, this is not the way to boast about the Labour.

    When did you come in to politics?

  • 0
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    What the LTTE diaspora is trying its utmost to do is whip up anti-Tamil sentiment in Sri Lanka and create a July 1983 like situation so that they can achieve their secessionist objectives.

    But unfortunately for the LTTE diaspora, the SL Government knows that a 1983 like situation would only result in direct Indian/UN intervention and therefore will prevent it from happening again.

  • 0
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    Dear Douglas,

    I am writing to express my sincere thanks

    Ooh, I was wondering where that slurping sound was emanating from :D

    • 0
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      What sounds does your leader MR make when he is sucking up the casino king?

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